02.08.1940 No. 18 Squadron Blenheim IV L9422 Sgt. John H. Davies
Operation: Haamstede Airfield
Date: 02nd August 1940 (Friday)
Unit: 18 Squadron
Type: Blenheim IV
Base: RAF West Raynham, Norfolk
Location: De Boer Schouwse Hotel, Haamstede, Netherlands
Pilot: Sgt. John Harold Davies 742518 RAFVR Age 24. Killed
Obs: Sgt. Kenneth Roy Bryant 755318 RAFVR Age 21. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Warren Seymour Barrett 905832 RAFVR Age 20. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
No less than thirty six Blenheims taking off from various airfields, to attack several airfields over Holland. L9422 taking off from RAF West Raynham, Norfolk at 09:35 hrs. Only 24 planes carried out the attacks on the specified targets at: Soesterberg, Leeuwarden, Schiphol, Waalhaven and Haamstede.
Above the crew of L9422 L-R: Sgt. Warren Barrett, Sgt. John Davies and Sgt. Kenneth Bryant (courtesy Stuart Chaplin and Jon Whight)
Haamstede was bombed by three aircraft, dropping 6 x 250 lbs, 30 x 40 x 4 lbs and 60 lbs. One burst was seen on the aerodrome but others were not observed. Two of the aircraft were attacked by Me109's. One evaded Into the Cloud, the other was seen to emit smoke and disappeared.
Understood to have been shot down by German fighters over the target area. Some reports state that the abschuss was claimed by Lt. Bernhard Malischewski of 11/JG54, although Tom Kracker’s database
does not support this theory.
Graham Warner’s publication, ’The Bristol Blenheim - A Complete History’, does describe it as being lost to a pilot from JG54.
Blenheim L9422 is understood to have come down behind the De Boer Schouwse Hotel as shown left, 2014.
The great series of photographs and details of the operation were sent to us by Stuart Chaplin and Jon Whight - relatives of Sgt. Warren Barrett. (Shown above and right at the Gt. Yarmouth Treasurer's office, Norfolk, England, where he worked prior to enlisting - courtesy Mrs Doreen Schei née Barratt, Stuart Chaplin and Jon Whight))
Warren Barrett with his mother outside 413 Spring Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, England - right, same house - 2014 (courtesy Mrs Doreen Schei née Barratt,Stuart Chaplin and Jon Whight)
Newspaper cuttings from the day. The other local chap mentioned, Sgt. John Lansdale (1) was killed flying with 607 Squadron. Hurricane I P3860 was shot down by Hptm. Neumann from 1/JG27 at 15.40 hrs on Tuesday, 17th September 1940. The aircraft crashed at the 'Bell Inn' Beltring, Kent.
The funeral for the crew of L9422 - showing the enormous respect the Luftwaffe held to allied aircrews (courtesy Stuart Chaplin and Jon Whight, Mrs Doreen Schei née Barratt)
Buried initially at a temporary military cemetery in Haamstede prior to reinterment at Bergen-Op-Zoom CWGC cemetery after the end of the war.
Sgt. John Harold Davies. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 20.A.10. Further information: John Harold Davies' Mother's maiden name was Roberts. (She was my Husband's Granddad's Sister born in Chirk, Wales). I am able to confirm that John Harold Davies married Edna May Thompson in 1940 in Cirencester. Edna's Father was a Policeman. When he retired he took The Black Horse Hotel, Castle Street. The couple lived with them after they were married. Servicemen sometimes stayed there and I am told that they often scratched their initials/names on to the glass window panes of their rooms. The immediate family visited John Harold's grave in the Netherlands shortly after the war where there was only a cross bearing his name to mark it. Edna has revisited since. John Harold had a baby daughter born early 1941, the year following his death. (Submitted by Janet Roberts - March 2017)
Sgt. Kenneth Roy Bryant. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 20.A.5. Son of Thomas Benjamin and Elizabeth Martha Bryant, of Hayes, Bromley, Kent, England.
Sgt. Warren Seymour Barrett. Bergen-Op-Zoom War Cemetery. Grave 20.A.11. Son of William Frederick and Emma Edith Barrett, of Burgh Castle, Suffolk, England. Grave inscription reads: ’Not a day do we forget, in our hearts, you are always near, Dad, Mum and Doreen.’ (Shown above - courtesy Stuart Chaplin and Jon Whight)
(1) Sgt. John Lansdale. Hempnall (St. Margarets) Churchyard, Norfolk. CWGC grave. Son of William Albert and Ellen Sarah Lansdell, of Great Yarmouth. Note: John Lansdale held a first class honours degree in aeronautics and was a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society)
Medals given to the sister of Warren Barrett and treasured. (courtesy Stuart Chaplin and Jon Whight, Mrs Doreen Schei née Barratt)
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Stuart Chaplin and Jon Whight, relatives of Sgt. Barrett for their extensive research, Aircrew Remembered, researcher and specialist genealogist Kate Tame, National Archives - Air 14-3361, Janet Roberts who contacted us in March 2017. Graham Warner - 'The Bristol Blenheim’.Further details can also be found on the Wings to Victory website.